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6th, 7th, 8th - Science, Education -

July 31, 2009

Screencast & VoiceThread

Here is a screencast I made using Jing of the Food Chain / Food Web Powerpoint presentation. Due to time limitations (I could only record 5-minutes), I trimmed out the section on energy pyramids.
Food Chain / Food Web Screencast

In addition, click this link to see a VoiceThread of this presentation.

July 24, 2009

PowerPoint Presentation

I created this PowerPoint presentation and uploaded it onto The presentation is on Food Chains, Food Webs and Energy Pyramids and will be used in my 7th grade science classroom. To embed the presentation, I simply copied the embed code from my slideshare account and pasted it below.

Week 5 Overview

As an alternative to traditional data collection, there are numerous Internet data sets that can be accessed by my students that will allow them to engage in different aspects of scientific inquiry including posing questions, planning and conducting investigations, analyzing data, formulating data-based explanations, representing data, and communicating findings. These data sets are available from government agencies, global corporations, and universities. Benefits of using online data sets include saving time, working around constraints of available equipment and geographic locations, and increasing student interest and motivation. In addition, these data sets can easily be incorporated into the 5E Learning Cycle that is a powerful tool for teaching by inquiry. Key guidelines to using this technology include:
1. Limiting student searches to targeted websites and simplified data sets.
2. Make the learning relevant.
3. Integrate data into inquiry that reflect the scientific process.
4. Contact education centers to request help in accessing the data.
Some examples of Internet data sets can be found at my Wiki page:
Another valuable tool I learned about this week is the use of Web-based inquiry projects. These projects go hand in hand with Internet data sets because they can be used to engage learners with using the scientific process. These projects allow students to collaborate and explore meaningful questions about everyday experiences. Making learning relevant for students is an essential component of addressing misconceptions and inquiry-based learning. What I like most about these projects is they get students thinking and working as actual scientists. Key characteristics of Web-based inquiry projects include: the project is learner centered (directed at the learner), the project supports the learning of a scientific concept, the project is Web-based, and the project allows for all aspects of inquiry to take place. A great example of Web-based inquiry projects can be found at

July 14, 2009

Week 4 Update

This week flew by and I spent too little time online due to travel plans. However, I was able to explore many of the applications of Google Earth including various data sets. I plan to use Google Earth to help teach concepts in ecology, energy resources and climate change. I also spent time researching different animations and simulations. Through my PLN, I am taking on the task of exploring the simulations that relate to content areas I teach and organizing them onto my Wiki page. This is a very time consuming task, but it will be worth it in the long run. What I find most powerful about my PLN is how it allows teachers to share key resources. I spend so much time searching the web, trying to find new ideas. My PLN helps to simplify this process.
One of the problems I have had with blogging is being able to maintain a dialogue with other students in this class. When I post a comment to someone's blog, I would like to easily come back to that post to see that person's response to my response. But I find it is very difficult to remember who's blog I commented on and under which topic the comment was posted. Is there an easy way to view (perhaps through Google Reader) to see responses that are specific to my responses? Thanks for any input! -Quinn

July 13, 2009

Google Earth Classroom Applications

After playing around with Google Earth over the past week, I am truly amazed! There are so many ways that I will be able to incorporate this technology into my classroom. I found many data sets through Google Earth Gallery including two that focus on threatened and endangered species. These applications provide an easy way for us to see where these species can be found on the planet and they include pictures along with a detailed fact sheet for each species. Here are the links if you are interested:
ARKive Endangered Species
Edge Existence

The Grand Canyon via Google Earth.

Week 3 Overview

This week I spent a lot of time searching the web for interesting science videos that relate to science topics I teach. I see great value in finding short video clips (in place of entire movies) to highlight important science concepts. These videos clips can also shed much light on many of the abstract concepts that I teach. I have created a Wiki page to help me keep track of all of the resources we encounter during this course. The page includes all of the links we have shared with each other for each of the following topics: wiki pages, social education networks, educational videos, images for science, computer simulations, blogs, and the importance of technology. More content will be added as we progress. Thank you all for sharing so much wonderful information. If you would like to visit this resource, you can find it at
I am also very impressed with the free image editing sites such as Picnik and Pixlr. These programs will come in very handy for my students.

July 4, 2009

The Four-Winged Dinosaur

Check out this video from NOVA: Science Now. This movie follows paleontologists as they study the evolution of flight.
For more NOVA videos, check out this website:

Morpho menelaus photos


I found this photo through and uploaded it into in order to make a few changes. The original image was cropped, flipped, color enhanced, framed and I added the scientific name of this species. Picnik was super fast and easy to use. Anyone know if there is a way to crop everything out except the actual butterfly? Thanks, Quinn